KOTA KINABALU: The Immigration Department detained more than 30,000 illegal immigrants from Jan 1 until yesterday, its director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said.
He revealed that over 1,000 employers were also nabbed for hiring or harbouring the illegals in the same period.
“The detentions were the result of more than 10,000 operations carried out nationwide with over 100,000 foreigners examined.
“(The Department) gave illegal immigrants the opportunity to surrender themselves voluntarily through the 3+1 programme which ended on Aug 30.
“In addition, we implemented the Rehiring Programme which was terminated on June 30. However, we still found many who did not adhere to the set procedures,” he told reporters after an operation codenamed ‘Ops Mega’ here early today.
Mustafar said despite a large number of operations carried out, there are still many illegal immigrants throughout the country.
“Although we have introduced several programmes, many still refuse to surrender, including employers. After the Rehiring Programme, we implemented Ops Mega 3.0 and of the hundreds of operations that we conducted, we have arrested more than 1,000 illegals from over 7,000 who were inspected.
“We do not want to compromise on the issue of illegal immigrants... because there are many other problems that will arise from this, for example, in relation to health issues and drug abuse,” he said.
Meanwhile, commenting on the operation carried out at the Sepanggar and Kota Kinabalu areas from midnight to 4am today, Mustafar said 58 illegal immigrants were detained.
“This operation will continue throughout the country, and we want our country to be free of illegal immigrants,” he added. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd